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21.11.2016 The first training for trainers on Strategic Human Rights Protection before the Russian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights was held on November 18-20, 2016

The three-day training of trainers on Strategic Judicial Protection in the Russian Constitutional Court was held on November 18-20, 2016 in Moscow. The event was organized within the project Enhancing Civic Engagement in Strategic Constitutional Litigation in Russia implemented by the Institute for Law and Public Policy with support of the European Union.

The training brought together 30 participants (teachers and practicing lawyers) of project regional partners: Voronezh, Kaliningrad, Krasnoyarsk, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, St. Petersburg.

The curriculum included both theoretical classes for the participants to understand the mechanism of  the functioning of the Russian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights, and practical exercises for skill acquisition of filing with these courts, including the principles of legal reasoning. Some particular attention was paid to the use of modern methods of legal pedagogy and the development of interactive classes in legal clinics.

Arkady Gutnikov, an expert in clinical legal education, spoke about the benefits and challenges of using interactive methods of teaching. His second session was devoted to organizing a clinic, its types and operating models. Over the practical part of his session Arkady  invited the participants to share their experience in legal clinics, and then asked them to simulate a working meeting on the planning of a specialized clinic on strategic judicial protection.

Olga Kryazhkova, Associate Professor of Constitutional Rights Department after N. Vitruk of the Russian Academy of Justice, spoke about the place of the Russian Constitutional Court in the system of rights protection. The training participants were asked to express and justify their position on the significance of the Russian Constitutional Court as a body of judicial protection. Then there was a discussion on the motives of potential claimants when applying to the Constitutional Court. Some special attention was paid to the track at the Constitutional Court. The participants learnt more about the work of the Secretariat, assessed the benefits of using the resources of the Constitutional Court site when preparing  a legal justification of the applicant position.

Maria Voskobitova, Associate Professor of Procedural Law, Russian Academy of Foreign Trade, presented the overview of international human rights protection instruments and their effectiveness in terms of achieving the client's objectives. Over the session she thoroughly explained the procedure of track in international bodies to protect human rights. The participants discussed the efficiency of using judgments and decisions of international courts as a learning tool.

Olga Podoplelova, Senior Lawyer of the Institute, held theoretical and practical sessions, which introduced the participants with the peculiarities of the legal argumentation techniques in constitutional litigation. As practical part of the session the participants were offered to play a business game.

Applying the knowledge received, the trainers made a concerted attempt to work out the structure and argument of the constitutional complaint based on the Constitutional Court case on forming the applicant's position using the arguments of legal and extralegal character.

On the last day of the training Arkady Gutnikov continued the discussion on organizing legal clinics, he told about the role of the curator of a legal clinic while supporting students' work on real cases. The participants learnt several models of the curator behavior and the ways to make comments on students' work. Arkady Gutnikov demonstrated the technique of working with students using the methods of motivation and constructive criticism.

The second training for trainers on the complaint to the Russian Constitutional Court will be held in March, 2017 in Moscow.

   

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